Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

August 21, 2020 - Volume 42, Issue 2

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

We're Here to Help You!

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Stacey Wells, Principal's Secretary

Jennifer Aballo, Teachers' Secretary

Dulce Boyer, Teachers' Secretary

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit cces.hcpss.org/calendar.


August

  • 25 - First Day for Teachers and Staff
  • 26 - PTA meeting on the blacktop (budget approval)


September

  • 1 - Teacher assignment available in Family File.
  • 3 - Kindergarten Welcome Back Orientation, 11:00 a.m.
  • 3 - 1st Grade Welcome Back Orientation, 1:00 p.m.
  • 3 - 2nd Grade Welcome Back Orientation, 2:00 p.m.
  • 4 - 3rd Grade Welcome Back Orientation, 10:00 a.m.
  • 4 - 4th Grade Welcome Back Orientation, 11:00 a.m.
  • 4 - 5th Grade Welcome Back Orientation, 12:00 p.m.
  • 7 - No School - Labor Day
  • 8 - First Day of School
  • 15 - Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month Begins
  • 21 - Kindergarten Back to School Night, 6:00 p.m.
  • 21 - 1st Grade Back to School Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 21 - 2nd Grade Back to School Night, 7:00 p.m.
  • 22 - 3rd Grade Back to School Night, 6:00 p.m.
  • 22 - 4th Grade Back to School Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 22 - 5th Grade Back to School Night, 7:00 p.m.
  • 28 - No School - Yom Kippur


Date(s) and times forthcoming for:

  • PHASE 1 Distribution of Chromebooks - We will contact you to arrange a date and time for you to pick up your device.
  • PHASE 2 Bundled consumable materials - Look for an email soon with directions.
  • Collection of CCES Property/Items - Please plan to drop off any items that need to be returned to CCES during Phase 1 or Phase 2 pick-ups.

HCPSS Calendars

There will be no printed 2020-21 Calendars.
Staff, students, and families may add our online calendar to their own mobile/online calendar by

  1. Going to https://www.hcpss.org/calendar/
  2. Scrolling down to Subscribing to a Calendar
  3. Right-clicking on the calendar you wish to subscribe to
  4. Selecting Copy Link Location/Address/Shortcut
  5. Adding to your calendar of choice (See your calendar for specifics on adding a new calendar)

You also may view and/or download printable PDFs of the full calendar and/or important dates only. Updates to the PDFs will be noted on the HCPSS calendar page.

PLEASE NOTE! The calendar is subject to change. The online calendar reflects the most recent version.

From School Administration

Chromebook and Material Distribution

Chromebook Distribution (Phase 1)

Wow, the start of our first phase of material distribution was incredible! A majority of our 340 time slots filled-up quickly in Sign-Up Genius. We distributed over 225 Chromebooks on Thursday alone! Thank you for your quick response to the Sign-up Genius. At the end of the day on Friday, 82% of our students will have HCPSS issued Chromebooks!


We did the Sign-up Genius so we could prepare for the distribution in a more efficient way knowing that we had to assign computer identification numbers from each computer to each student checking out a Chromebook. This took a lot of time beforehand. We didn't want people to have to wait in long lines while we managed that. Additionally, we wanted to quickly distribute the technology to our community so that we could be sure all of our students have the necessary technology needed to start school on September 8 in addition to the Welcome Back Orientations on September 3 and 4.


We still have more Chromebooks to distribute, so please do not worry. If you missed the first two days, we will be in contact with you to schedule a time to pick-up your Chromebook.


Consumable Material Distribution (Phase 2)

The HCPSS curriculum office is packing student materials in large plastic bags for each child in kindergarten through fifth grade. Students will receive one bag of materials. The bags include

all of the curriculum items and print materials students will need during virtual instruction.


As soon as we receive the shipment of materials at Clemens Crossing, we will organize another pick-up date. Please be on the look-out for information via email for the Phase 2 pick-up. This pick-up time will be organized by your family's last name since we do not need to assign a computer identification number.


We are gearing up for an exciting year! Please continue to reach out to us If you have any questions or need any help.


Mr. Cosentino and Mrs. Hurd

NEW INFORMATION

CCES Student Schedules

If you took the time to review the HCPSS plan for the 2020-21 school year, you may have been able to review the grade-level specific schedules provided in the document.


Below you will find those schedules for each grade level. This will help you plan for learning times for each grade level.

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Please Update Family File Now

As of August 20, only 103 out of 554 students have completed Family Files. That is less than 20%! Even though we are starting school virtually, we do need to have updated Family File information. Please review the directions below under the "Worth Repeating" section to help you update your Family File.


Families that update and complete their Family File will be able to view teacher assignments prior to the start of school. In addition, having this information is critical to us as soon as the first day of school: HCPSS Connect

Pick-up Items from 2019-20

We distributed leftover yearbooks, Paw Print Press books, and class pictures from 2019-20 when students picked-up Chromebooks.


We will finish distributing the remaining items during the Phase 2 pick-up times.

CCES Supply List 2020-21

Below, please find the CCES Supply List for the 20-21 school year. These are suggested supplies to have available for your child/children. Please replenish the supplies as needed.
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From the PTA

PTA Meeting - August 26

We will be holding a special PTA meeting on Wednesday, August 26 at 7:00 pm on the Blacktop at CCES to approve the budget for 2020-2021 and to vote in our new executive board members. Please RSVP to: president@clemenscrossingpta.org so we can be sure we have a quorum. Masks and social distancing will be required. Please leave your kids at home if possible.

The agenda and draft budget will be emailed to everyone who RSVPs.


Supporting Our Teachers

This year we have asked teachers to submit their Amazon wish lists for families who wish to send a gift of school supplies to start the school year. These lists are being published on our PTA Facebook pages. If you are not on Facebook and would like access to a wish list, please email president@clemenscrossingpta.org with the name of the teacher. Thank you!

Did your child forget his/her login information?

Visit the account self-service website to help you with login information. You can also view the Student Self-Service Password Reset YouTube video below.


https://hcpss.me/account-self-service/

Student Self Service Password Reset

Teacher Assignments

Teacher assignments will be shared electronically on September 1.

Information Worth Repeating

Learning at Home Tips

Below are some tips that you may find helpful or useful as you prepare your child for this year of learning. We recognize that all families are at a different place at this time in terms of school readiness, but for those of you who are curious as to ways you can support your child, we have compiled a beginning list for you.

  • Provide a designated learning space for your child. This will help your child with understanding that school is important. If your child has their own area that is strictly for their schooling, they are less likely to be distracted and it will help your child get in the zone for learning. This can be a small table, a small tv tray, a corner table in a kitchen, etc. Please do whatever works best for you, however, we recommend that this area has a “permanent” spot in the house.
  • Within the designated space, have organized items that your child will be able to find, put away, and use. This will allow students to work in their area without needing to leave it to find needed materials.
  • Schoolbox or bin for crayons, pencils, scissors, glue and markers.
  • Headphones are helpful to avoid distractions to others AND they will block out distractions from the house.
  • Small whiteboard or thick paper in sheet protectors and black expo markers. Often teacher will ask your child to hold up their work as paper can be hard to see in an online format.
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Are you leaving Clemens Crossing?

If your child will not be attending CCES 2020-21school year, please contact Stacey Wells at stacey_wells@hcpss.org for assistance with withdrawal questions. This will allow us to properly plan for the fall and provide you with the information that you need in order to enroll your child in your new school.

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Family File Emergency Form is Open in HCPSS Connect

It is time to update your child's Emergency Contact information in HCPSS Connect even though we are starting the school year online. This is the most important step as we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 School Year. Your Family File needs to be updated at the beginning of every school year.


Families that update and complete their Family File will be able to view teacher assignments prior to the start of school. In addition, having this information is critical to us as soon as the first day of school: HCPSS Connect


You will be asked to update or provide the following information:

  • Parent/guardian contact information.
  • Emergency contacts.
  • Medical information
  • Arrival and Dismissal procedures.
  • Media coverage.
  • Data confidentiality.
  • PTA Directory.

You can access HCPSS Connect here http://www.hcpss.org/connect/


Parents who have forgotten their login credentials for Family File may click the “Forgot Password” link on the sign-in page.
If you need additional assistance, please fill out this Connect Help Form.

Change of Address

Changes of Address may not be made through Family File. If you have recently moved, please contact your child’s new school as soon as possible. As we are preparing for the upcoming 2020-2021 School Year, it is imperative that we have accurate addresses on file for all of our students. If you have moved, and have not provided us with your updated information, we ask that you email the following documents to Ms. Wells at stacey_wells@hcpss.org.

  • A completed a change of address form
  • A copy of your new lease or deed
  • A copy of a current utility bill with your new address

Registration for the 2020-21 School Year

Please share the following information with family, friends, and neighbors who may need to register a child for the 2020-21 school year. Registration questions and documents should be emailed to Ms. Stacey Wells at stacey_wells@hcpss.org

If you would like to register your child for the 2020- 21 school year, please complete the online registration by visiting https://www.hcpss.org/enroll/. While completing the online registration form, you can also upload the required documents. We will contact you to schedule a virtual meeting (e.g., online Google Meet) to complete the registration process. During this virtual meeting, you will be asked to verify parent/guardian relationship and submit any additional required documentation.

HCPSS Chromebook Update:

Chromebooks

Every student entering grades kindergarten through 5th grade at CCES will be provided with a Chromebook; parents/guardians do not need to do anything to request this device. All device distribution will occur in late August. Details will be communicated as soon as they are available. Any student who borrowed a Chromebook for spring or summer learning may continue to use that device during the 2020-2021 school year. Please note that we will share information about the distribution and the next steps as soon as those details are available!


Broken Devices

Should an HCPSS Chromebook become broken, students/parents should bring the broken device to the HCPSS Logistics Center located at 9645 Gerwig Lane, Columbia, MD 21046.

Returning Devices

Families moving out of Howard County are responsible for returning the device to the HCPSS Logistics Center (9645 Gerwig Lane, Columbia, MD 21046). The building will be open weekdays from 9 a.m.- 11 a.m.


**Students who have enrolled in a school outside of HCPSS will need to return their borrowed Chromebook before their records can be sent to the new school.**

Information and Application for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMs)

HCPSS participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs which provide families with significant benefits to help save money. Qualification is based on family size and income, and enrollment is confidential. All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can get free meals regardless of income, and students from households that meet federal income guidelines are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals. Those eligible for reduced-price meals pay $0.10 for breakfast and $0.20 for lunch. More information is on the HCPSS Website.

The application is also on the last page of the Family File when you update your emergency contact information.

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Connect with CCES and Stay Informed

Listed below are the many ways to stay informed at Clemens Crossing Elementary School:


Twitter

  • Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hcpss_cces
  • We use Twitter to inform, celebrate, and engage our community.
  • Twitter is used to share what is going on in our school, our community, and throughout the Howard County Public School System.
  • Turn on notifications to get information the second it is tweeted.
  • We live-stream our concerts on Periscope through Twitter.


Facebook

  • Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ClemensCrossingElementary
  • We have found that Facebook is the social media most used by our parents so, we are now on Facebook, too!
  • Our Facebook page is updated automatically from our Twitter feed.
  • Please use Facebook to share the good news from CCES with your friends and families.


Instagram

  • We use Instagram periodically. We do post pictures and information there.


Website

  • Our website, cces.hcpss.org, is updated regularly.
  • Important news and information is located on the main page of the site including an archive of our weekly newsletter, Cougar Comments.
  • Staff information and email is located under the "Our Staff" tab.
  • A subscribeable google calendar is located on the "Calendar" tab.


Email

  • Email is our main form of communication.
  • You will receive news and information automatically to the email address you provide in your Family File. We will not inundate your inbox with email. Look for the weekly Cougar Comments on Friday mornings.
  • If you would like email sent to different email addresses, update your email in Family File with the email address you prefer.
  • You can subscribe additional email addresses by visiting the HCPSS News site here. http://www.hcpss.org/hcpss-news/
  • Weekly announcements, important information, updates, and more will primarily be sent through email.
  • You also have the opportunity to opt-in for text messaging

Back-To-School Nights

Please save the dates for our annual back-to-school nights.
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PTA Facebook Page and Private Class Groups

PTA Facebook Page

Please follow the CCES PTA - https://www.facebook.com/clemenscrossingpta/

This is an open page for families of students at CCES.


Private Class Groups

The PTA organizes Facebook groups for families of students in each grade. The groups closed/private and only for parents of students in that particular class group. Membership in each group is contingent upon enrollment in the school. All content in the groups must be school related with the purpose of connecting parents and students.


Here is a list of the Facebook group by class:

Adding CCES's Google Calendar to Your Personal Online/Email Calendar

Did you know you can subscribe to CCES's Calendar and see events on your computer and/or smartphone? Why subscribe to the calendar? You will have all of CCES's events embedded in your calendar. If events change, the calendar will be updated immediately.


The Calendar ID is: sqspkjkbr6v6arss44js3n21eg@group.calendar.google.com.
There are many "how to" tutorials online that you can view to learn how to properly sync your calendar depending on your email provider, computer platform, and brand of smartphone.

Cub Scout Pack 618

Cub Scout Pack 618 is open for girls and boys in grades K - 5th. We are located in Hickory Ridge Village and typically meet at Clemens Crossing Elementary School. We have a great year planned with virtual museum tours, hikes, campfires, and camping in the Spring. We start the year with our model rocket launch in September.


We have an Open House Aug 26th, 6:30pm at Martin Road Park if you'd like to meet our leaders and ask questions.


Please visit our website at www.pack618md.com or email cubmaster@pack618md.com